New Delhi: The Congress Sunday effected a major organisational reshuffle geared towards the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, inducting former union ministers including Ambika Soni, Ajay Maken, C.P. Joshi and Gurudas Kamat as general secretaries and appointing several young leaders as secretaries.
The reshuffle, carried out ahead of an expected cabinet reshuffle Monday, had the stamp of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, party sources said. The revamp also saw some party general secretaries and secretaries dropped.
Party president Sonia Gandhi, who made the changes, also reconstituted the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making body and appointed screening committees for poll-bound states including Delhi, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
Rahul Gandhi will be in charge of frontal organisations that include his earlier responsibilities of Youth Congress and NSUI apart from Mahila Congress and Seva Dal.
Digvijay Singh, who for several years has been general secretary in charge of the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, has been moved to Andhra Pradesh. He will also be incharge of Goa and Karnataka.
Madhusudan Mistry, who as general secretary contributed to the party’s victory in Karnataka, has been given charge of Uttar Pradesh. He will also be incharge of the party’s central election committee.
Former union minister Shakeel Ahmed has been made general secretary in charge of Delhi in place of Birender Singh, who has been dropped.
Delhi, along with Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, will see assembly polls later this year.
Ahmed has also been assigned the states of Haryana, Punjab and the union territory of Chandigarh.
Mohan Prakash, who has been elevated as general secretary, will be in charge of Madhya Pradesh along with Maharashtra.
B.K. Hariprasad will continue to be general secretary incharge of Chhattisgarh and has also been given charge of Jharkhand and Odisha.
Kamat will be general secretary incharge of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Dadar and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
Maken, who resigned from the union cabinet Saturday, has been given charge of communications, publicity and publication, while Soni will be incharge of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and the Congress president’s Office.
C.P. Joshi, who resigned from the cabinet Saturday, has been given charge of Assam, Bihar, West Bengal and the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Janardan Dwivedi will be in charge of All India Congress Committee (AICC) meetings, AICC departments, CWC, organisation, organisational elections, sessions and coordination.
Mukul Wasnik has been made general secretary incharge of Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep, while Luizinho Faleiro will be incharge of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
Party sources said several of the newly-appointed secretaries were young and had worked closely with Rahul Gandhi in the Youth Congress.
Union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has been dropped as general secretary in keeping with the “one person, one post” norm of the party.
Oscar Fernandes has also been dropped as general secretary but party sources said he could be inducted in the cabinet.
Vilas Muttemwar has been dropped as general secretary while Gulchain Singh Charak, Jagdish Tytler, and Jagmeet Singh Brar have been dropped as leaders having independent charge of states.
A party leader said the reshuffle was “a blend of youth and experience”.
“There is an overall stamp of youth and change (in the reshuffle),” he said.